This gaming startup just rode the quarantine gaming wave to a $3.3B valuation

Gaming studio Scopely is just raised $340m to build out its IP library… possibly in prep for an IPO.

November 4, 2020

Put your hand up if you have gamed to relieve 2020 stress.

You’re not alone.

According to NPD Group, 244m people in the US play video games, and the average gaming time is 14 hours/week (up from 12 hours/week in 2018).

Against the backdrop of these massive engagement numbers, LA-based game studio Scopely just raised $340m at a $3.3B valuation, per TechCrunch.

A different approach from other gaming giants

Unity and Epic Games — the makers of popular gaming engines that power most of the industry — have been the buzziest names in 2020.

Scopely, meanwhile, doesn’t create tools for other gaming companies at all. Rather, it is a vertically integrated studio completely focused on creating or acquiring its own intellectual property (IP).

Some of its top names — where Scopely licenses the IP — includes some sexy names like MARVEL Strike Force, Star Trek Fleet Command, Scrabble GO, and YAHTZEE with Buddies (eh, not so sexy).

While these titles look random, Scopely has a strategy…

… the company focuses on strong interactive and social experiences.

One supporting data point: Scopely users spend an average of 80 minutes/day across the catalogue.

(Another data point: I once spent 80 minutes arguing with a friend about whether “qi” is in the Scrabble dictionary. Unfortunately, it is.)

With the loot, Scopely will keep growing its business in preparation for a potential IPO. Perfect, even more games to distract us from what will surely be interesting weeks and months to come.

(Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article says Scopely owns the IP for MARVEL Strike Force, Star Trek Fleet Command, Scrabble GO, and YAHTZEE with Buddies. In fact, they don’t own it but license the IP.)

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